I heard about Maia Beren’s YOU! Journaling Program when I heard her interview on the Get Inspired! Project. Maia serves others as a life coach and she has learned from her life experiences to not only improve her own quality of life, but thousands of other lives as well. Maia was so kind to do an interview with me and share how she has been able to find happiness in her own life and offer that same happiness to others. I always love hearing wisdom from adults; they always have something to offer younger generations—life experience. I hope you enjoy!
You can visit Maia’s website here: http://allaboutlifecoaching.com/
1. What occurred during your childhood and young adult years and how did this affect your happiness?
MB: When I was a little girl of 4 some really bad things started happening in my life. My father started to sexually abuse me and my mother started yelling at me a lot and criticizing me a lot. From a happy and pretty carefree little girl, I became afraid most of the time. I wasn’t afraid of my father because he was loving but my mother scared me all the time. I was always afraid of “getting in trouble”. I became a very, very good girl and I needed approval from other adults to make me feel ok. As crazy as it sounds, I was afraid of my mother even as an adult.
As a result of all of this, at age 18 I met the boy who was to become my first husband. He was good looking and smart and so made me look acceptable to the world. Even though after 6 months of dating I could see he was mean and controlling, I hung onto him for dear life. For 19 years and 4 kids to be exact. I did not have enough self esteem to tell him how I felt. I was afraid of losing him.
2. You have been able to overcome so much. How did you find the courage to change your life?
MB: I’m not sure it was courage that made me change my life. What made me change my life was being more afraid of staying with my ex- then of staying. I was afraid all the time with him too – just like with my mother. Finally, I thought I was going to get hurt. It was the very best thing I ever did in my life. I found out that life did not have to be like that and that there were people and places who would love me and teach me how to love myself so that I never accepted abuse again.
3. How important is it to have a mentor in your life?
MB: I think having a mentor is one of the keys to a successful life. We all need support and someone we can trust to tell us the hard truth, to remind us who we are and to be there just to be there.
4. Can you tell us about the three magic secrets that you share with others?
MB: The 3 Magic Secrets are the basis of how I changed my life. The first one, Life Is a School, taught me to stop seeing myself as a victim. If I try to learn from or see what’s good in everything that happens in life, I can improve my life and not get lost in things like anger and fear. It has taught me how to turn lemons into lemonade.
The second Magic Secret is Friend In-Deed. Like I said in the previous answer about mentors, I believe a person who is there for you indeed (“Certainly!” “In-deed!” meaning an action performed consciously is vital to a successful life. We need support. We need to be heard and we need to learn from those who have come before us.
The third Magic Secret is My Cup Runneth Over. It is the use of gratitude as a tool for inner peace, mental health and to create the life of your dreams. Like attracts like. A grateful person attracts a life for which to be grateful.
5. Can you tell us about your journaling program?
MB: The Journaling-for-YOU Community is an online community with about 2000 member from all over the world. We have several teen members all the way to grandmas like me. Each week you receive a new topic that you can journal on. People can make comments and you can make friends. My son calls it “face-up-to-it-book.”
There are also some Wise Fairy God Mothers there in the form of YOU University coaches. They are women I’ve trained to be coaches. They are there along with me to spread their wisdom and journal themselves. It’s a wonderful, safe community. Journaling is a great way to get feelings out and to gain self-awareness.
6. What can teens do to be happier with their lives?
MB: Well, now I have to sound like a parent but don’t discount what I have to say because of it. Hang out with the winners. Don’t hang out with kids who are self-destructive or negative. Stay away from drugs. In my own extended family there are two people whose brains have been ruined for life because of drugs. They are in their 50’s or 60’s and never really had a real life. It’s not worth it. Try to focus on what’s good about yourself, not what’s wrong with you. Putting yourself down may be a teen habit but it’s not one to make you feel good about your life. And finally, get help if you need it. We all need it sometimes. Everyone. Even the President. That’s why he has so many advisors (Friend In-Deed).
7. How have your dreams come true?
MB: My own life experience has taught me that once people pick up their courage and deal with their emotional baggage, the mistaken beliefs they have made about themselves become conscious. Then they are able to find their Real Self – the one they were born to be. The experience with and knowledge of my participation in such profound transformation brings me breathtaking fulfillment. Today I am living my dream.
I dreamed I was capable of helping people improve their lives on a profound level and in a way that was unique to them. And that’s what I get to do every day with my clients, my YOU University team, my Journaling-for-YOU Community and even when I tweet.
I dreamed that the work I did on myself would free my children from recreating the troubled lives their parents had. Today my four adult children live really good lives. They have functional relationships with their 3 parents, their children and with each other.
I dreamed that a relationship with the opposite sex could be a joy and help me learn about loving and giving, sharing, and mutual support. I’ve lived that dream for the past 27 years.
I dreamed I’d use my teaching talents to help people become what they want to in life. Teach them how to use their gifts and talents to contribute both to the world, and to how they feel about themselves. Some of those people are the very same people who you might choose to coach you through YOU University